Koova Review

Koova: A Robotic Camera with Face Recognition

Hardware Criteria7.8
Software Criteria5.7
Home Automation0
Video Storage9.5
Encryption, Encoding, and Care8.8
Hands-On/User Reviews and Pricing6.3
6.4
Reader Rating: (0 Rates)0

GOOD

  • 240° Motion Tracking with Manual Pan and Zoom Control
  • Face Recognition, Motion Detection, and Audio Alerts
  • Local and Cloud Storage

BAD

  • Doesn't tilt
  • No real night vision
  • Some smart features require a subscription

Amaryllo's Atom AR3 can track and follow motion. Netatmo Welcome can recognize faces. Nest Cam offers Person Detection. iCamera KEEP Pro has motion detection zones. And Koova? It has everything.

Koova is the latest robotic security camera by Amaryllo. It was originally designed as an upgraded version of the iSensor HD, an indoor camera that we've tested in the past. After Koova's 2016 release, Amaryllo created Koova version 2.0. While we have no plans to test this camera, we do plan to discuss its features and our thoughts based on experience with other Amaryllo cameras. Does Koova deserve a spot in your home? We'll see.

Setup & Installation

Amaryllo is known for creating robotic security cameras, such as the iSensor HD Patio, iCamPro Deluxe, and the Atom AR3.

Despite being smart, Amaryllo's cameras are easy to install. Koova can be mounted on a wall using the provided wall mount, or you can simply set it on top of a flat surface. To power the camera, all you need is a USB connector plugged into a power source. You can go with the traditional setup and connect Koova to the power adapter that comes with the package, or you can use a power bank (with 5V/2A output) or laptop as power sources to make Koova portable. Take note, however, that while Koova's small size allows you to move it around easily, it requires Wi-Fi to function properly.

Image and Video Quality

Like the iSensor HD, Koova boasts up to a 720p resolution. It has a total field of view of 240°, but this is only because the camera can pan up to 180°. You can control the pan feature with the smartphone app using finger swipes. Also, unlike the iSensor HD, Koova can zoom. This feature is again controlled using the smartphone app. From the app, simply pinch in or out to zoom.

Unfortunately, Koova still doesn't offer true night vision. Instead, it uses a LED flashlight that turns on based on event, much like the iSensor camera. The light provides a night vision range of a few feet, but it's not enough to see a face from across the room. Also, Amaryllo boasts that this feature will attract the attention of a burglar. While this is true, there are pros and cons to drawing attention to your security camera. You will need to decide if this is something you want to happen or not. On the bright side, people instinctively look for the source of the light when startled, improving your chances of capturing footage of the intruder's face.

Koova to Enhance Home Security

Koova makes up for its lack of night vision by offering an abundance of security features.

For one, it offers smart motion detection. Why smart? Because you can tell it which areas to monitor (aka Activity Zones) and which areas to ignore (aka Block Out Zones), reducing false alarms and improving alerts. Each camera can have up to four Activity and Block Out Zones. If you want to narrow down false alarms further, you can activate Koova's face detection feature. With face detection turned on, Koova will only notify you if a person causes a motion event.

Koova doesn't only detect motion, it also follows it. With the help of its pan feature and motion tracking algorithms, Koova can keep intruders within its sight while recording.

Koova also features sound detection. It alerts you via a push notification if it hears a loud sound. Its sensitivity can be set to low, medium, or high.

Finally, and perhaps most impressively, Koova can recognize faces. You can set it to notify you only if an unknown face is seen or you can set it to let you know when it sees a familiar face.

Other Features

Koova also has features that don't necessarily enhance home security. One is Mail Notifications. Koova can link to Google services and notify you via an audible voice when you have mail. It literally says "You've got mail".

With the help of face recognition, Koova can also greet you with a "Good morning/afternoon/evening" or a "Hello!" when it sees you or someone it recognizes.

Subscription and Storage

There's both good news and bad news regarding storage. Good news: Amaryllo offers free cloud storage, and their subscription plans aren't expensive. Bad news: Some of the features we discussed require that you pay for a subscription.

Amaryllo offers four plans: Basic, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Basic is free, but the remaining three incur monthly fees.

 BASICSILVERGOLDPLATINUM
Price per Month
Free$3.99/camera
$9.99/camera$14.99/camera
Price per Year
Free$39.90/camera
$99.90/camera$149.90/camera
Type of AlertsSnapshot Alerts10-Second Video Alerts10-Second Video Alerts10-Second Video Alerts
Continuous Recording
How long do videos stay in the cloud?24 Hours7 Days30 Days365 Days
Timeline
Can it record events?Snapshots only (3 days storage
How many faces can it recognize?4101010
Two-Way Audio
Audible Greetings and "You've got mail!" Alerts
Activity and Block Out Zones
Motion & Audio Alerts
Customizable Voice Alerts

On the other hand, if you don't want to use Amaryllo's cloud storage, you can choose to record locally. Koova comes with 8GB of onboard storage. While the storage can only store a limited number of videos, it should be enough to cover an entire day's worth of alerts. You can also use an internal storage device to backup videos to your Google Drive account.

A Quick Summary

Kooba is a feature-rich security camera. It can detect and follow motion, it can recognize faces, it can speak, and it comes with free cloud storage. But the biggest catch is that most of its promised features needed to protect a home require a subscription. So the question here is, are you willing to pay to enjoy Koova's features? Considering that they offer low-cost plans, paying a monthly fee is a viable option.

Based on experience with past Amaryllo cameras we're skeptical. The app isn't user friendly, the video quality is low, and promised features doesn't always work as promised.

You can purchase Koova for $169.99.